According to those that know her best, Phyllis, 71, is a “giving person with a big heart.” In the past, Phyllis had extensive experience volunteering as a teacher’s aide and at a local hospital. “She has always taken care of everyone,” said her daughter, Jennifer, “My mom and dad would always prepare food for those in need, even though they didn’t have a lot of money… She was always the first person who would be there for anybody.”

Phyllis’ biggest passion is cooking. The love of her life, her late husband, Dennis, introduced her to cooking. “When I met my husband, he liked to cook. When we got married, I started cooking from scratch. We would try a new dish every week and we would cook it together,” said Phyllis. Cooking was a big part of their life that they shared with their family. “Their joy came from cooking and spending time with us and teaching us how to cook,” said Jennifer. Because of Phyllis and Dennis’ love for cooking, they also loved watching the Food Network. “When Paula Deen came on the scene, we would watch her faithfully,” said Phyllis, “I was partial to her because I was a Southern girl… I loved her cooking. It reminded me of home.” It was Phyllis and Dennis’ longtime dream to eat at Paula Deen’s ‘The Lady and Sons’ restaurant in Savannah, GA. Three years ago, Dennis passed away before they could go.

In March 2018, Phyllis finally fulfilled her and Dennis’ dream. “It made me feel like he was with me and we were doing it together,” said Phyllis, “I still have my physical limitations, but my spirits are uplifted forever.” Not only did Phyllis finally have the chance to visit and eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant, but she also got to meet Paula Deen herself in person, a special bonus to Phyllis’ Wish of a Lifetime experience!

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